For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Police investigations have revealed that UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera was behind the printing of a poster defamatory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa which was carried out in a printing press belonging to the JVP.
It has also been revealed that Samaraweera and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Private Secretary Sudath Chandrasekera had made an advance payment of Rs 55,000 to the printing press at Delkanda.
In addition to this defamatory poster, all other defamatory posters and material including the effigies used at the UNP rally Wednesday had been turned out under the supervision of Samaraweera, it is being further revealed.
These posters have been distributed throughout the island and Police have been ordered to look for them.
Police have also received information that similar posters are being housed at two locations in Chitra Lane, Narahenpita. Upon raids carried out on these addresses police found that one of the houses belonged to JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti while other was owned by an office-bearer of the JVP.
When the suspects involved in the printing of the defamatory posters were in the custody of the Mirihana Police, UNP MPs Mangala Samaraweera, Dayasiri Jayasekera, John Amaratunga. Dr Jayalath Jayawardena and Karu Jayasuriya had stormed the police station demanding their release.
MP Samarweera is reported to have behaved in an unruly manner at the Police Station. “You should help us end the President’s dictatorial rule,” the MP had said.
Meanwhile, Handunnetti told the Police that Samaraweera and rest had deviously used the Printing Press to print defamatory posters in a way that sullied the name of the JVP.
SP Deshabandu Tennakoon is heading the investigations on the directions of DIG Daya Samaraweera.
The printing press had been sealed while Police have summoned MP Samaraweera and Sudath Chandrasekara to obtain their statements.